Dixie Co. increases reward money for man whose been missing for 2 years

OLD TOWN, Fla., (WCJB) --- A North Central Florida man hasn't been seen since the night his house caught fire in April of 2017 and now investigators are increasing the reward money to hopefully get a break in the case.

While many celebrated Fathers Day over the weekend 37-year-old Charlene Bechtold is still living with the reality that her father Richard Elton remains missing for over two years

"I know that if he was alive that he would let me know something, he would let me know that he's okay," started Bechtold.

A disturbance between Elton and his wife was reported to the Dixie County Sheriff's Office in April of 2017 --that same night-- their home caught on fire.

The sheriff's office says his wife was likely the last person to see him-- but investigators say nothing points to her being a suspect.

"We've had people that we've talked to, and some of the witnesses we talked to that heard this or heard that and then you know you chase those leads down and it just doesn't pan out to be anything, stated Major Scott Harden.

That house fire was ruled an arson case but no suspect was ever found.

Elton has been considered missing since May of 2017. And there hasn't been much information leading to where he may be.

The original $5000 reward didn't generate much information, so now the sheriff's office is increasing the reward to $10,000. They hope it will motivate someone to come forward.

Meanwhile, Bechtold says its also been hard for her children who often ask about their grandfather.

"They're like "Did we find Papa?. I just tell them no that we still don't have any answers we don't know what happened."

And this past Father's Day was tough knowing there's no new information on Elton's whereabouts.

"It was hard thinking about him, but I'm just grateful for the time I had with him"

For those who may have any information on the disappearance of Elton, investigators are asking people to contact FDLE at (386)-330-2840 (leave a message if the call is after business hours or you are unable to reach an employee).